Retail sales growth slows in September

| October 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

There is worrying news for the economy today after the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said retail sales growth eased in September.

The BRC said consumers are holding off purchasing big-ticket items as they prepare themselves for massive spending cuts, introduced by the Government to slash the budget deficit.

Many reports have suggested economic growth will be hampered as a result of the tough austerity measures, which Chancellor George Osborne believes are necessary in order to control Government debt.

The forthcoming VAT rise, as well as stubbornly high inflation, will no doubt be weighing heavily on consumers’ purse strings.

The BRC said retail sales growth slowed in September, with like-for-like sales up 0.5% compared with a year ago.

However, this was half the 1% growth rate in August, according to the BRC/KPMG retail sales monitor.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “It is clear people are cautious and major spending is largely on hold.”

However, it is hoped that the forthcoming VAT increase, scheduled for January next year, might boost sales in the build-up to the Christmas period, the BRC said.

In related news today, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said 44% of its surveyors saw prices fall in the past three months. Just 6% reported a rise, while 50% said noted they had been stable.

The Rics said a fall in house prices is expected in the coming months.

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